|Born||March 10, 1948|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||Mackin (Washington, D.C.)|
|College||Notre Dame (1968–1971)|
|NBA draft||1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||10,473 (15.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,990 (2.9 rpg)|
|Assists||1,878 (2.8 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2007
Austin George Carr (born March 10, 1948) is an American former professional basketball player who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is known by Cleveland basketball fans as "Mr. Cavalier". He was part of the Notre Dame team which defeated the UCLA Bruins on January 19, 1971, which was UCLA's last defeat until being beaten by Notre Dame exactly three years later, breaking the Bruins' NCAA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak.
Carr grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended Holy Redeemer School, and later Mackin Catholic High School. At Mackin, Carr teamed with All-City guard Tom Little, who made some national All-American teams before starring at the University of Seattle. As a Junior All Met, Carr scored 475 points in 24 games. During Carr's All Met senior season, he scored 600 points and along with Sterling Savoy, led the Paul Furlong coached Trojans to the Catholic League title over DeMatha. Carr was named Parade All-American along with other 1967 seniors such as Artis Gilmore, Howard Porter, Jim McDaniels, and Curtis Rowe, all of whom became major college stars.
The 6-foot 4-inch (1.93 m), 200 lb (91 kg) shooting guard first came to prominence as a highly recruited player for the University of Notre Dame, arriving after having scored more than 2,000 points during his high school career. Carr lived up to his lofty billing by ending his three-year career at Notre Dame with 2,560 points (an average of 34.5 points per game), ranking him fifth all-time in college basketball history at the time of his departure. During his final two seasons, Carr became only the second college player ever to tally more than 1,000 points in a season, joining Pete Maravich in that select group. Carr holds NCAA tournament records for most points in one game (61 vs. Ohio in 1970), most field goals in one game (25), and most field goals attempted in one game (44). His record scoring average of 50 points per game in seven NCAA playoff games has yet to be broken.
Carr has been featured in several "all-time best" lists for his successful college career at Notre Dame. In 2008, ESPN named Carr the 22nd greatest college basketball player of all time. In 2010, Bleacher Report listed Carr as the 21st greatest college basketball player of all time. Carr was featured in another Bleacher Report article in 2013, this time being named the 12th most dominant college basketball player in history. In March 2020, Carr was featured on ESPN's "SportsCenter Special: College Basketball's Greatest of All Time" 64-player bracket, which celebrated the best men's and women's college basketball players ever. A March Madness styled bracket that was voted on by fans, Carr was listed as a 16 seed, with his career accomplishments at Notre Dame being pit against those of Breanna Stewart from UConn. In November 2020, ClutchPoints published their list of the 25 greatest college players of all time, with Carr listed as the 20th best player of all time.
Carr moved onto the professional ranks as the first overall selection of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1971 NBA draft. Carr was also selected in the 1971 ABA Draft by the Virginia Squires, but signed with the Cavaliers on April 5, 1971.
Carr's first season in the NBA was marred by a series of injuries that limited his output. During the 1971 preseason, he broke his foot and missed the first month of the season. Less than one month after returning to the court, he was sidelined again by another foot injury, missing another seven weeks. Upon his return, he began to display the skills which made him the top selection in the NBA draft and was named to the 1972 NBA All-Rookie Team. Following the conclusion of his first season, Carr had surgery to clear up any lingering foot problems.
The arrival of Lenny Wilkens prior to the start of the 1972–73 campaign gave Carr a solid partner in the backcourt, helping the Cavaliers improve by nine games in the win column. Carr's best statistical season came the following year, when he averaged a career-best in points (21.9), assists (3.8), free-throw percentage (85.6%), and minutes per game (38.3), while also averaging 3.6 rebounds and appearing in 81 games. Carr's performance on the court resulted in him being selected to the 1974 Eastern Conference All-Star team, his only All-Star Game appearance.
Two months into the 1974–75 season, Carr suffered a knee injury that put him out of the lineup indefinitely. His absence in the lineup likely prevented the Cavaliers' from capturing their first-ever playoff berth, as they finished with a 40–42 record and fell just one game short of qualifying for the 1975 playoffs.
The following season during the 1975–76 campaign, Carr helped lead the Cavaliers to their first winning season, Central Division title and playoff appearance in franchise history. This marked the first of three straight playoff appearances for the team, with Carr playing a key role in the team's success throughout this period. In the 1976 Eastern Conference Semifinals, their first playoff series in franchise history, the Cavaliers defeated the Washington Bullets 4–3 in a close, back-and-forth seven game series. Cleveland won Game 7 by a score of 87–85, after Cavaliers guard Dick Snyder hit a go-ahead shot with 4 seconds left in the game. The Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, where they would lose to the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics in six games. Although the Cavaliers didn't advance past the second round of the playoffs, the 1975–76 team became revered throughout Northeast Ohio and is hailed as one of the most notorious teams in Cleveland sports history. The Cavs run to the playoffs and series win over the Washington Bullets became known locally as "The Miracle of Richfield." Carr averaged 11.8 points in 13 games during the 1976 playoffs.
After appearing in just 41 and 65 games the previous two years, Carr played in all 82 games in the 1976–77 season for the first time since his second NBA season. He averaged 16.2 points per game, an increase of 6.1 points from the previous season. Carr's strong play helped lead the Cavaliers back to the playoffs, where they were eliminated in the first round by the Washington Bullets in a close three-game series. Carr once again played in all 82 games in the 1977–78 season, helping the Cavaliers reach the playoffs for a third consecutive year. They faced off against the New York Knicks in the 1978 playoffs, losing in two games. Carr averaged playoff career-bests in points (17.5), rebounds (4.0), steals (1.0) and minutes per game (34.5).
Carr played two more seasons with the Cavaliers. He had a strong 1978–79 campaign, averaging 17 points per game and shooting a career best 47.5% from the field in 82 games. However, the Cavaliers would finish with a 30–52 record and fail to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1975. The Cavaliers also failed to reach the playoffs the following year in 1980, Carr's final season with the team. Throughout his 9 year tenure with Cleveland, Carr averaged 16.2 points, 3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
The 1980–81 season would be Carr's last as an NBA player. He played with the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Bullets, appearing in 47 total games. He retired in 1981, finishing with career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Today, Carr serves as the Director of Community Relations for the Cavaliers and is also a color commentator on the team's broadcasts on Bally Sports Ohio. Carr's #34 is one of seven jerseys retired by the Cavaliers.
It was announced on April 2, 2007, that Carr was inducted to the second class of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, along with Dick Groat, Dick Barnett and numerous coaches.
On February 21, 2008, Notre Dame recognized Carr, their all-time leading scorer, during the Pittsburgh – Notre Dame men's basketball game.